Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Music of the Season

I've shared a couple of my favorite redneck-tinged holiday song. Now it's time for sharing some of my more serious favorites of the season.

First up: From Handel's Messiah, two of my favorites. And no, although I love it, neither is The Hallelujah Chorus:

"Every Valley Shall Be Exalted"

"Glory to God"

A more modern Christmas standard: "Mary, Did You Know?"

From Trisha Yearwood: "It Wasn't His Child"

Only a link on this one, but I really love this duet with Ricky Skaggs and James Taylor: "A New Star Shining"

And here's the same song with Skaggs and Steve Wariner:

And I like this a capella version of "Sweet Little Jesus Boy":

(I have to admit part of the appeal of that last one is watching white bread frat boy types pulling off that spiritual with a combination of awkward white boy non-rhythm but gorgeous harmony)

For a more traditional treatment of the same song, here's another version by Joseph Shore:

What about y'all? What are your favorite Christmas songs, traditional and non-traditional?

Edited to add: A commenter reminded me of this song that I really love: Clay Aiken singing "All is Well."

Edited to add again---lksa in the comments links to this version of The Hallelujah Chorus that's just amazing:

And this one...well, there are really no words. But I'm about to head to the website to see if they still have their Christmas performance DVD available after this one. As lksa suggests, stay past the third day of Christmas. You won't regret it.


Fresh Girl said...

I love "Mary Did You Know?" too, though I prefer Clay Aiken's version. In terms of traditional hymns, I love "O Holy Night" and "O Come O Come Emmanuel."

And what do you know... Clay sings those, too. ;)

Paula said...

There were a lot of good versions of Mary Did You Know, and I considered using the Clay version, but when I saw the one where the songwriters themselves were performing, as a writer, I had to go with that one. :)

However, I've added a Clay song I adore to the blog post.

rnomad said...

If variety is the spice of life, your holiday season will be well seasoned.

Best wishes.


Fresh Girl said...

Dang, I can't believe I forgot "All is Well."

BTW, it's me, Paula...Shari. ;)

Paula said...

Hi, Raimey. Are you perhaps suggesting that my taste in Christmas music :)

Shari! I wondered if that was you. How are you doing?

Anonymous said...

Hi Paula,

Here are a few I've gleaned from other blogs recently. The first is a version of the Hallelujah Chorus that is somehow both silly and reverant.

And the second, well, I'm not sure how to describe it without spoiling it. Just let them get to the third day before you close the window. ;)

I'll have to check out your links, as many of those songs are new to me.

Mom1Music said...

I think my favorite two are the classic White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. But I love John Berry's O Holy Night. His voice could melt butter.

Paula said...

Oooo, I agree about John Berry, mom1music! Love that version of O Holy Night.

Off to check out lska's links...

Fresh Girl said...

Except for being unable to breathe through my right nostril, I'm good. ;) Looking forward to spending Christmas with my very first nephew!

Paul Leone said...

Hi Paula!

Paul from WNY here...

Here are some of my current favorite Christmas performances: - An Arabic Christmas carol. I found this a few days ago and it's simply spectacular. - Hayley Westenra singing Away in a Manger. She has an absolutely beautiful voice. - Hayley Westenra once again, this time singing Mary Did You Know. - my favorite singer, Katie Melua, covering Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.